The Life of Mrs. Roxanne R. Rector

Roxanne W. Rector (“Roxie”), of Crystal River, passed peacefully surrounded by her husband of 35 years, Richard Rector, daughters Rebecca (Panek) Kitzmiller and Leah Panek-Shirley, and granddaughters Katherine “Katie” Kitzmiller and Elia Kitzmiller at Vitas Hospice in Lecanto on Sunday, February 25, 2024. She was 88.

Roxie, born in Maryland to John A. Wagner, Jr. and Margaret Rutherford Wagner, led an amazing life as a “Jill of all Trades” through many different careers. Her great love of horses began at a young age and included competitive jumping in venues such as Madison Square Garden, providing riding instruction at the Homestead in Virginia, and training hunter-jumpers at her own farm, Variety Hill. As a young independent woman, she earned her way in life as a thoroughbred exercise rider at Pimlico and other northeastern racetracks and later as a secretary following her graduation from the Bard Avon Secretarial School. Due to her skills, she held senior secretarial positions with Aircraft Armament and Applied Physics Laboratory (Maryland). While at AAI APL she held Secret clearance from the Inspector and Naval Material and Q clearance from the Atomic Energy Commission. Combining her horse and secretarial skills, she earned her large “R” judge and steward certification from the American Horse Shows Association and served nearly two decades as secretary for the Maryland Horse Shows Association.

Even as her daughters grew and began their own adventures, hers were just beginning again. She earned her realtor’s license and her Commercial Driver’s License. After an accidental meeting in Culpeper, VA she found love again, marrying Richard in 1988. They moved from their home in Maryland to Florida in 1990. They travelled the entirety of the continental US and parts of Canada for more than 20 years as owner-operators of Rector Trucking. In that time, they transported such unusual items as an Apache helicopter, honeybees, elephants, and tigers for organizations from the US Government to Disney On Ice, Ringling Brothers Feld Entertainment, and Universoul Circus, along with a lot of hot tubs, commercial air conditioners, and so much more.

Rich and Roxie continued their adventures after retiring as owner operators in 2013 when they lived in Jacksboro, TX to work the oil fields. In 2015, they sold their home and downsized to Nature Coast Landings with visits from and to family in North Carolina and Buffalo, NY.

Those left to cherish Roxie’s memory are her loving husband Richard Rector of Crystal River; her two daughters Rebecca Kitzmiller (John) of North Carolina and Leah Panek-Shirley (Jeff) of Buffalo, NY; her three grandchildren Katherine Kitzmiller (Aidan) of Tacoma, WA, Elia Kitzmiller of Columbia, SC, and Daniel Shirley of Buffalo, NY; and their cat, Thomas.

Private cremation arrangements are under the care of Chas. E. Davis Funeral Home with Cremation Care. Roxie will be interred in the Wagner family plot in Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, PA.

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